Sometimes challenges threaten a parent’s will to homeschool his or her children. These challenges may be especially taxing on those who are new to the world of homeschooling. Below are some tips that will assist you with avoiding common homeschooling mistakes so that your experience will be successful and engaging.
- Resist the need to overschedule activities: Parents often feel the need to schedule many activities to supplement and meet the needs of their budding homeschoolers. In addition to curriculum lessons, many homeschoolers participate in extracurricular activities daily or weekly. Some homeschoolers engage in several activities several times a day. Consider limiting activities such as field trips and extracurriculars to once or twice weekly. Events that are spread out during the week will help prevent burnout of the child as well as yourself. It is essential that your child learns at his or her own pace and does not become overwhelmed during the learning experience.
- Avoid under-scheduling: At times, parents may have difficulty when attempting to organize a homeschool plan that is fitting for their student or students. Under-scheduling may occur because of scheduling conflicts, family dynamics, or lack of resources. Families need to remember that the homeschool community is a supportive one, and connecting with such families is encouraged. Seek the assistance of veteran homeschooling parents as they serve as excellent resources and sources of support!
- Prevent disorganization: Many homeschools become disorganized at some point during the school year. Sometimes disorder seems inevitable, right? To combat this issue, consider dedicating a day (or days) to organize your homeschooling rooms and lesson plans. Engage your homeschooler to assist with tasks. To help with recordkeeping, consider creating an up-to-date portfolio for each student.
- Manage time wisely: Do take breaks during the day as needed. Consider minimizing or shortening breaks when needed to accommodate unexpected events or appointments should they occur. Remember that it is ok to reschedule lessons and activities to a later time or different day should scheduling conflicts arise.
- Avoid walking alone: Homeschooling can be very overwhelming when embarking on the endeavor solo. Be sure to utilize resources such as support groups, homeschool publications, seminars, conferences, memberships, and classes. Consider mingling with like-minded homeschooling families to prevent feelings of isolation.
- Deschool before Homeschooling: Deschooling is defined as the process of de-institutionalizing individuals from their previous public school experiences. Deschooling promotes relaxation, encourages engagement, and re-establishes the student’s learning experience. Deschooling is a process, and there is no limit to the amount of time it takes for students to complete this process. Usually, homeschoolers have a better learning experience overall if deschooling takes place over time.
- Please don’t give up: Remember why you started this journey and stick with it. Take time out for yourself to regather, reflect, and relax. Seek support from other homeschooling families as needed. Reward yourself for your efforts.
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